Nokia lagging in smartphone hardware

Nokia risks being left behind in the race for smartphone supremacy.
Analysts at Ovum say the Finnish vendor lags rivals in deploying the ever-more powerful hardware necessary to offer advanced graphics and video processing.
The research firm notes that most of Nokia’s rivals are already transitioning from ARM11-based processors to ARM Cortex A8 and Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, which both offer hardware-based graphics and video acceleration.
Nokia’s N900 is the only unit in its range to feature a next-gen chip, Ovum states, with other devices including the N97 and N97 mini still using ARM11 with a clock speed under 500MHz and 128MB of RAM.
That compares to the performance of the latest Snapdragon chip, which offers 1GHz clock speed, and 448MB of RAM.
“Extra hardware grunt provides a significant boost to user experience, but Nokia is struggling to keep pace,” analyst Tim Renowden notes.
He points out that other vendors are “queuing up” to launch handsets with next-gen chips, but says Nokia’s failure to announce any new products in recent weeks “gives us little cause to think the hardware specification gap will improve in the short term.”
Nokia is also behind when it comes to screen technology, with the N900 again the only unit in its range to be on-par with the latest devices from competitors.
Renowden points out that most of Nokia’s touch-screens use resistive technology, rather than the capacitive touch offered by the likes of Apple, and suggests the firm is limited by still producing handsets in the candybar form factor.
“The forthcoming release of the Symbian^3 platform (and associated new hardware in 2H10) can’t come quickly enough for Nokia,” Renowden states.